Creativity and Freedom Reciprocally Related

Creativity and Freedom Reciprocally Related

On Friday, we saw that putting fears to rest is the beginning of freedom, and that freedom and creativity go hand in hand.

Today, we will pursue the reciprocal relation between freedom and creativity, to see how becoming free enhances creativity and how becoming creative increases freedom.

Becoming free increases creativity

We have discussed the ways in which confronting fears set you free. Let’s look a little closer at why.

When you make an unaccustomed move in relation to fear—when you approach it, dialogue with it, sidestep it, joke with it—and new possibilities arise, the conditions for being creative are prepared. All you have to do then is fix a new possibility in mind and start inspecting it with an eye toward figuring out how to bring it into being. This is the essence of all creative activity: making an inner vision of an as-yet-unseen possibility, followed by transferring that vision into reality.

The first action, the refusal to obey fear, clears off the landscape and allows new possibilities to appear on the horizon. But it is the second action—grabbing one of these new images and working with it for an extended time—that turns your attention away from the fear, and can cause you stop thinking about it or feeling it altogether. In its place a space opens up in which you can be freely creative.

Becoming creative increases freedom

Just as freeing yourself from fear can make you more creative, so too can becoming more creative free you from fear.

Every foray into any creative activity—whether you pursue your creativity in art, science, mathematics, philosophy, sports, music, technology, invention, or even in hobbies and pastimes—is a step away from fear. The longer you can engage in creative activity, the more you learn the feeling of living without fear. And this also applies to living your life—perhaps especially so. When you respond to a fearful event by refusing to obey the fear, new opportunities arise. If, for example, you habitually cringe at criticism and slink off with shame, refusing to do so opens up new possibilities. You can listen carefully to the criticism, for instance, and ask the critic for explanations and even assistance, take up the suggestions, continue to engage the critic, perhaps even become friends. This is creative living: learning to treat your life like a theatrical performance or an ongoing inventive project.

When you can treat your own life this way you are free, that is, no longer limited by your previous ideas about your limits—which were the causes of your fears all along!

Tomorrow we will discuss a practical plan for becoming both creative and free.

Until tomorrow, then.

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